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ERIC Number: EJ926901
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Large General Purpose Frame for Studying Force Vectors
Heid, Christy; Rampolla, Donald
Physics Teacher, v49 n3 p156-157 Mar 2011
Many illustrations and problems on the vector nature of forces have weights and forces in a vertical plane. One of the common devices for studying the vector nature of forces is a horizontal "force table," in which forces are produced by weights hanging vertically and transmitted to cords in a horizontal plane. Because some students have difficulty relating the geometry of the textbook illustrations with weights in a vertical plane to the horizontal geometry of a force table, we developed a vertical force frame, shown in Figs. 1 and 2, that allows a vertical arrangement of weights and cords that mimics exactly the textbook illustrations, and is on a scale that makes it easy for the students to "feel" the magnitudes of forces. This frame is easy to build, inexpensive, and provides a working area of almost 5 ft x 5 ft (1.8 m x 1.8 m) and a number of alternative ways of working with forces. This frame can also be easily expanded to an area of 10 ft x 5 ft (3.6 m x 1.8 m) for large complex configurations. The frame is easy to assemble or disassemble using only a VSR drill and deck screws, and stores compactly. Students can gain engineering skills by assembling the frame guided by schematic drawings.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A